Laos is one of the smallest IP markets in Southeast Asia. The Amended Law on Intellectual Property No. 38/NA was published in May 2018 but many parts did not take effect immediately or needed more guidance.
In early 2020 Decision No. 2822/MOST took effect to clarify many of the Trademark provisions of the Amended law. Areas covered include:
- Services marks are now allowed
- The detail for how to register 3D marks are set out
- There are more detailed rules on filing through local agents under Powers of Attorney
- Renewal deadlines are shortened.
- Assignments and licenses must be recorded at the Department of Intellectual Property
- Examination and opposition periods and the registration timeframes are set out
- Cancellation procedures are described
- Appeal procedures are described
In 2018 the number of trademark filed exceeded 5,000 for the first time. Local applicants numbered 249. Applicants can expect filings can become easier.